COVID-19 Coronavirus: Rapid Antigen Tests

What is a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) and when do you complete one.
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What is a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test

The rapid antigen test (RAT) is a quick test to check for COVID-19 and provides a result within 15 to 30 minutes. All test kits have a QR code which links to a video that shows how to take a test.

Where to get a Rapid Antigen Test

RAT kits are available for purchase from supermarkets, pharmacies and other retailers.

How to complete a Rapid Antigen Test

There are two types of RATs:

  • Saliva test – user spits into a tube, or sucks on a swab
  • Nasal swab – user swabs each nostril.

Self-test kits will contain:

  • Test device
  • Spit funnel or nasal swab
  • Test tube with dropper cap to collect samples
  • Buffer (chemical solution that extract the virus from samples)
  • Instructions for use

RATs for children

All RAT kits contain guidance on their recommended use. Check the suitability of using the RAT on children and follow the instructions closely. Parents or guardians should perform or supervise RATs on children. Some people find ‘lollipop’ saliva tests easier to use on young children.

How to use a nasal RAT

There are different self-test kits available. Follow the instructions provided within the test or watch a quick video on how to use a basic nasal rapid antigen test.

All tests are for single use only. This means you can only use each test once. Do not use a test more than once or try to use one test on multiple people.

How to read your RAT results

A negative result is shown by a line next to the C marker and no line next to the T marker. If your result is negative, monitor for COVID-like symptoms and test again if they develop.

A positive result is shown by a line next to both the C and T markers. 

There is no longer a requirement for the Western Australian community to register positive RAT results with the WA Department of Health, in line with other states and territories.

If a line only appears next to the T marker, this means your test result is invalid. This can happen if the test was done incorrectly, or the test was defective. If this happens you should take another RAT, following the instructions for use.

Disposing of home use tests

Some RAT kits include a plastic bag for you to place the contents of the test, including the swab, into. Place this bag into another bag for disposal with your household rubbish.

If no bags are provided with your kit, you can place the used items from the test into a small plastic bag that can be sealed. Place this bag put into another bag that can be sealed and disposed of with your household rubbish.

Wash your hands carefully after completing the test and disposing of the test kit contents.

More information on the use of RATs

More information on RATs is available online: